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Suspended particulate material in first order streams draining sugar cane fields

Grant number: 11/09363-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2011
Effective date (End): August 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Luiz Antonio Martinelli
Grantee:Gabriela Garcia Medeiros
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


The current scenario global search for alternative sources of renewable energy, is part of the ethanol produced from sugar cane. Brazil is a major producer of ethanol, with prospects of expansion of cultivation areas of sugar cane. This way, it becomes essential to minimizing the environmental impacts of agricultural production. Soil erosion is a major environmental impacts caused by agricultural production and can be evaluated from analyzes of suspended particulate matter in water bodies, which in turn is influenced by factors such as land use, topography and rainfall. Within this context, this paper aims to assess the impact of agricultural soil erosion mechanics in first order rivers that drain agroecosystems with sugar cane, correlating with agricultural practices and the role played by riparian vegetation. Thus, we conducted a study about transport and carbon isotope composition (d13C) of suspended particulate matter in rivers. We selected four watersheds with predominant coverage of sugar cane, considering also the presence / absence of the permanent preservation areas (APP) as well as differences between coverage areas of sugar cane grown and currently growing areas abandoned. Samples will be collected monthly over a year analyzing the concentration of suspended particulate matter, with the distinction of gross fraction and fine fraction. It will also analyzed the levels of total C and d13C, using an elemental analyzer (Carlo Erba model EA 1110) coupled to mass spectrometry. (AU)

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